The Soul-Restoring Work of Creative Community
By Blake Atwood
2009 was the most soul-taxing year of my life, a time of deep depression that led me to question basic assumptions about my faith, identity, and calling. I escaped to Dallas the following year to reboot a life that had suffered a major system crash. Seeking healthy community, I stepped foot into my first Art House Dallas exchange in late 2011. It was there that I met people like me: creatives who wanted to do something good with their creativity. I’ve been involved ever since.
This may sound melodramatic, but it’s true: Art House Dallas was instrumental in my restoration as a person of both faith and creativity.
Since late childhood, I’ve defined myself by two significant words: Christian and writer. But it wasn’t until I became involved in Art House Dallas that I saw how those two could and ought to influence each other, and even how the intentional mingling of those words could turn into a career.
Since becoming part of Art House Dallas, I’ve written and released The Gospel According to Breaking Bad and have launched out on my own as a full-time freelance writer, editor, and ghostwriter.
Yet more valuable to me than the professional growth I’ve seen are the relationships that have formed, especially within our first Art House Dallas writers group. While the Exchanges offer encouragement on a broad level, the Awaken Creativity writers group provides the kind of accountability and help all serious writers need but seldom know where to find.
To me, Art House Dallas is the kind of community creatives crave: encouraging, helpful, knowledgeable, and working toward something larger than themselves. In just four years, AHD has accomplished much, and I can’t wait to see what the next decade holds.